Robert G. Wilson was born in Butler county, Ohio, March 8, 1843, and died in Hancock county, Indiana, May 30, 1910. He was a son of William and Mary (Gillespie) Wilson. Some time in the early sixties he removed with his widowed mother to Cumberland, Marion county, Indiana, and, in 1868, he located in Hancock county, of which he remained a citizen until his death. He was the fifth in a family of ten children. He was married on December 20, 1870, to Mary Arnett, and to this union nine children were born, three of whom, Willie, Ila and Ina, are deceased. The living children are: Mary Jane, Anna May, Jossie, Alice, Hattie E., Shady and John.
Mr. Wilson united with the old Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal church, in Butler county, Ohio, in 1865, and, on coming to Indiana, transferred his church membership to the Pleasant Grove church, in Vernon township, Hancock county, this church then being under the pastoral charge of Reverend Philips. Mr. Wilson became a member of Oakland Lodge No. 140, Free and Accepted Masons, January 12, 1870; received his demit and became a charter member of McCordsville Lodge No. 501, April 14, 1875. He became a member of McCordsville Chapter No. 44, July 26, 1884, and a member of the McCordsville Council No. 52, the same date. He was also a charter member of the McCordsville Chapter No. 156, Order of the Eastern Star; a charter member and past chancellor of McCordsville Lodge No. 507, Knights of Pythias, and a member of Union Temple No. 300, Pythian Sisters. Mr. Wilson is also a member of the Eastern Star and Pythian Sisters. Mr. Wilson served two terms as county commissioner of Hancock county. He was engaged in farming all his life, and was the owner of three hundred acres of land at the time of his death. He settled on the farm adjoining that on which his widow now lives when the land was all covered with timber. With the exception of eighty acres of this land, which was inherited by his wife, Mr. Wilson purchased and paid for this farm, cleared the timber and made all the improvements by his own hard labor. To begin in the woods, clear the land and develop a farm to the splendid condition in which it is today, is an undertaking of no small magnitude.
John Wilson, son of Robert G. Wilson, was born on September 5, 1884. He was educated in the public schools of Vernon township, and did his share of the work on his father's farm in his early years. He was married on September 1, 1907, to Bessie Sylvey, who was born in Hamilton county, Indiana. The children of this union are: Ralph, Arnett, Robert, George and Blanche Sylvey. John Wilson is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons at McCordsville.
Shadrich H. Arnett, father of Mrs. Mary (Arnett) Wilson, was born on September 3,. 1811, in Franklin county, Indiana, and came to Hancock county with his brother, William Arnett, in 1831. He settled in Buck Creek township and continued to live there until his death, which occurred on February 13, 1879. Mr. Arnett was a prominent and influential citizen of the township and commanded the respect and confidence of the community in which he lived. He served as township trustee for several years and, during the Civil War, was enrolling officer of the township. He was an active and influential member of the Masonic order. In early life he was identified with the Baptist church, but had no church affiliation in his later life. He acquired a large estate through his industry and energy in his active years. In personal appearance he was of fair complexion; in physique he was strong, portly and athletic, weighing over two hundred pounds. His children were: Sarah A., Mary, Isabella, Elizabeth, Lucinda and William H.
William Wilson, father of Robert G. Wilson, was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1811. He was a son of John and Jane (Canahan) Wilson, who were natives of Pennsylvania, and came to Butler county, Ohio, when William was a child. They settled on a farm and spent the remainder of their days in that county. William Wilson was educated in the schools of Butler county, Ohio, and his life vocation was that of a farmer in Butler county, where he spent his entire life. He was married about 1835 to Mary E. Gillespie, a native of Butler county, Ohio, and a daughter of Robert and Mary (Robinson) Gillespie. They were both natives of Ohio, and both died in Butler county of that state. Robert Gillespie was a soldier in the War of 1812. The Wilsons and Gillespies were Democrats.
Mary (Gillespie) Wilson and her entire family came to Marion county, Indiana, about 1866, and located first near Cumberland. About two years later they removed to a location near McCordsville, in the Steel neighborhood, in Buck Creek township, Hancock county. There the widow died, living at the time of her death at the home of her son-in-law, Erskine Collins. At the time of her death she owned eighty acres of land in Buck Creek township. Her children were: Jane, John ,Robert, Martha, Hannah, Amanda, Adeleide, and William. They were members of the Presbyterian church
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 941-943.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 9, 2001.
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